Having outgrown their downtown Annapolis building, officials at Anne Arundel Medical Center broke ground yesterday on a $65 million hospital in Parole to be completed in 2001.
The new hospital will feature an expanded emergency room, a critical-care unit double the size of its current one and several design features that will give patients and family members extra comfort, including courtyards for short walks and comfortable chairs.
"It's a way to help us serve an ever-increasing market," said Mary Lou Baker, AAMC spokeswoman. "At one time, we used to be strictly a community hospital, but we're finding now that we're serving parts of Prince George's County, the Eastern Shore and all through Anne Arundel County, both north and south."
The hospital will be moving from a 250,000-square-foot building on a 5-acre parcel to about 312,000 square feet spread over 28 acres in Parole, where the hospital currently has a medical park officials began building in 1989, when they began using its current Annapolis site to capacity.
The medical park houses the Rebecca M. Clatanoff Pavilion, a women's and children's hospital; the I. Edwards Surgical Pavilion, an outpatient surgery facility; the Donner Community Health Pavilion; Anne Arundel Diagnostics, a full-service radiology center; and an oncology center.
Baker said hospital officials began thinking about relocating two years ago while renovating its Annapolis building.
"It was really a question of asking, 'Why are we running two hospitals with two security forces when, if you combine them in a single building, you have a greater economy of scale,' " Baker said. "And there's no room to expand [in Annapolis]; absolutely no room."
The new hospital will have 211 beds -- which is less than the current 291 beds spread over the two sites -- but will have a 30-bed critical-care unit, 12 state-of-the-art surgical suites and an emergency department that will have rooms to give patients extra privacy.
"Our emergency department currently does not permit too much privacy because it's small and cramped," Baker said. "The beds are separated just by a curtain, so that families are literally back to back sometimes."
She said other features in their plan to be more family-friendly include providing pagers for relatives of patients.
"If somebody is seriously ill, their family members spend a lot of time at the hospital," Baker said. "So when they take a little break, the way this hospital is designed, there are outside spaces like little courtyards where a family member can go. And with a pager, even if they're not in the room they feel they're connected to their loved one."
AAMC hopes to raise $17 million by 2000. They have raised a little more than $14 million, including a $600,000 grant from the Kresge Foundation of Troy, Mich., that was received Tuesday, and $2 million from the county government.
Pub Date: 12/17/98